Bookshelf

There are books, and then there are Books. This evening I pulled down the book of photographs I took while I was wandering around Ireland and the United Kingdom a few months ago, and felt nostalgic. I desperately want to go again, soon, see the sights, talk to the people, breathe in the air and enjoy the scenery. Fortunately, Jennifer and I are planning on going again in May 2002 for our "real" honeymoon, so I get to look forward to that. Because my photo album awakens these memories and feelings in me, I think of it as a Book.

I’ve been listening to Wuthering Heights on CD in my car during my 2 hour commute back and forth to work. Today, I asked my mom, a former English major, whether she had ever read that book. "Not recently," she replied. I asked her, "Is there any reason why Wuthering Heights shouldn’t be subtitled, ‘How a bunch of whining, self-centered drama queens screwed up their lives and refused to take responsibility for any of it’?" She said, "No." Because Wuthering Heights has been a source of irritation and not very enjoyable (I think that the only character I like is the narrator, Mr. Lockwood, and possibly the housekeeper Ellen Dean), I think of it as a book, not a Book. I know that Wuthering Heights has, for some reason, become widely known as a Powerful Work of Literature, but, God’s Truth, I have no idea why. I think that it hits pretty close to home for me: I know too many people who remind me of those self-centered, whining drama queens. Wuthering Heights is just a book.

Nothing very much of interest has been going on around here. Jennifer has her new job, which she starts in about ten days. I started up in the exercise program again and I can already see a difference in my blood pressure and my heart rate. Last weekend Jennifer and I spent the weekend at a ranch in Napa that we own a share in. I’ve been working on a pretty interesting project at work, studying math, getting ready to start taking math classes again at a community college in the area in a couple of months, and just generally living. We saw Hearts in Atlantis, which thoroughly emasculated the story as it was written by Stephen King (the film probably stood well enough on its own merits but I didn’t care for it). Today my parents came up to visit from the South Bay, since my little sister wanted to go to the Renaissance Faire, and my parents didn’t. So Jennifer and I had lunch with them and then we went and saw Serendipity, an old-style romantic comedy with John Cusack which I thought was funny and charming.

This evening Jennifer and I stopped at CompUSA and purchased a new scanner and dropped off her computer for upgrades and repairs. We also picked up some memory to install in Lucien, our server. I spent the evening installing the scanner on Mossroot (my own desktop computer) and scanning in pictures from my trip — soon I’ll put some of those pictures on line and maybe even make a special section on my website for the details of that trip. I’ve also begun an upgrade to a group of pages in the wesite that I share with Jennifer, and did some reading (Stone of Farewell, a Book by Tad Williams).

Life keeps on keeping on. While I spend a rather sedentary and happy afternoon and evening with my parents and my wife, the world continues to turn. While I was in Ireland I was constantly struck by the sense of history that permeates everything. Jennifer and I talked this evening about possibly going out to New York to see the devastation first hand and to somehow make it "real" instead of images we see on television and on our computer monitors, and I was struck by a sense of space. The Wondering Jew writes a poignant reflection of some of the contemporaries of his youth and I think about my own contemporaries, and about how, while I write software and read fantasy novels and plan for my return to graduate school, people clear rubble and search for remains in New York.

And then my mind wanders back to Wuthering Heights, and about how Heathcliff and Cathy, Edgar, Isabel, et. al., spent their lives isolated and removed from the world in Wuthering Heights, caught up in their own minor dramas and unable to expand their own vision to see the suffering that they were causing in others. I can only hope that my own perspective is a bit broader than that.


On another note, I’ve actually been asked for a notify list! I hadn’t pondered one before, figuring that the one or two of you who make up my regular reader base would just wander by whenever you felt the urge to do so. But I couldn’t resist to tug on my ego, so I’ve created a notify list. If you’d like to sign up, there’s a yellow box in the left column of this page where you can enter your e-mail address and click "Sign Up", and let Yahoo! take care of the rest.